Lessing (Les) Labuschagne began his career at the then Maize Board in Pretoria as a Systems Designer and Developer. The prospect of lending his enquiring mind to research and contributing to the shortage of IT skills led him to return to academia as a lecturer at Technikon SA in 1992, the same year in which he completed his Master's degree through Rand Afrikaans University. He left academia for a few years to gain industry experience and worked at companies such as Price Forbes and IBM South Africa as a consultant while completing his doctorate.
The lure of academia proved too great and he re-entered it as a senior lecturer at the Rand Afrikaans University in 1998. He completed his doctorate in 2000 and became an associate professor in the same year. In 2006 he was appointed as the Head of Department for Business Information Technology. In 2009 he joined Unisa as Professor and Director of the School of Computing and in August 2011 was seconded to the position of Executive Director of Research. The position became permanent in October 2012.
His volunteer activities and affiliations outside of his formal employment reflected his interest in project management as early as 1999 when he joined Project Management South Africa (PMSA) first as an ordinary, then professional member. He began to take on leadership roles within this professional association, first serving as the Vice-President:
In September 2010 he was awarded the title of Fellow of PMSA in recognition of his contribution to the development of Project Management as a research discipline in South Africa. He is one of only five people to hold this title and also the youngest. Les ensures he is active in the international PM community and as such is also a member of the international Project Management Institute (PMI).
Les has been a National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researcher since 2003 and is currently rated as C2, has co-authored a book and authored fourteen journal papers and 38 conference papers. He has also successfully supervised nine masters and two doctoral students to completion. Since 2000 he regularly serves as reviewer for conferences such as PMI's Research and Education Conference (2008-2014), PMSA's biennial conference (2002-2014) and Information Security South Africa (2000-2014).
Founded in 1873 as the University of the Cape of Good Hope, the University of South Africa (Unisa) became the first public university in the world to teach exclusively by means of distance education in 1946. With around 400,000 students across South Africa, Unisa is Africa's leading distance learning institution nurturing inspiring leaders of tomorrow. A reputable, comprehensive, flexible and accessible open distance learning institution that is motivating a future generation, Unisa offers internationally accredited qualifications and world-class resources. More about Unisa can be found at www.unisa.ac.za.
According to David Pells, PMWJ Managing Editor, “I am very happy to welcome Les Labuschagne to our international advisory team. I have known Les for a number of years, am aware of his leadership and influence at PMSA, and now have some idea of his important research and publishing activities at Unisa. His ideas on how to improve our journal and library will be welcome.”
Prof Labuschagne stated, “It will be my pleasure to join the illustrious group of academic leaders that has been assembled to support the PM World initiatives. I will also be honored to represent our university and country in this new role, and hopefully contribute in ways that bring value back to South Africa and Africa.”
The PM World Journal (PMWJ) is a global online publication produced by PM World Inc. in the United States, but created by a virtual team of contributors and editors around the world. PM World also produces the PM World Library (PMWL), a global resource for continuous learning in portfolio, program and project management (P/PM). To see the latest edition of the PMWJ, visit www.pmworldjournal.net; to learn more, visit www.pmworldlibrary.net.